28th Māori Battalion Private, Te Puhi Patara remembered

By Mere McLean

Over 500 people attended the funeral of 28th Māori Battalion Private Te Puhi Patara of Te Arawa.  Te Puhi Patara was one of three surviving members of B Company of the 28th Māori Battalion. 

Te Ariki Morehu (Te Arawa) says, “He was one of the last from the 28th Māori Battalion.  There's only one left after him.”

With Te Puhi Patara's passing, only two members of the B Company remain, Hare Nuku (Ngāi Tūhoe) and Robert Gillies (Te Arawa). Both have played a part in projects involving B Company. 

Nolan Raihania of C Company made the trip from the East Coast to pay his farewells.  He says the sacrifice made by Puhi Patara and those who went to war is synonymous with the NZ flag. 

“Blood was spilt under the flag we acknowledged today.  It's under our Prime Minister, it's distasteful.  He's only looking for votes,” says Raihana.

Te Puhi Patara passed away at age 91, he joins his late wife Tiriti o Waitangi and leaves behind his children, grand-children and great grand-children.  

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